E News February 2012
The huge expansion in university lacrosse continues apace. The ELA have effectively leveraged the Sport England support creating an Active Universities programme and INTO Lacrosse which will introduce our sport to thousands of new folk.
The recently launched INTO Lacrosse programme is funded by Sport England for the next three years. It aims to enable 6,000 students to have ago at lacrosse and increase awareness and knowledge of what we offer. Basically, it's 'have a go' stuff, not full lacrosse. Using sticks, goals, and simple equipment it's about getting sticks in hands and competing around basic skills - men's, women's, mixed.
Recently Sky Sport ran a feature on the programme. This shows some very enthusiastic students talking about the game and how they are moving to introduce it in their college.
So far there have been
- Coaching sessions in 38 universities
- 1145 coaching sessions
- 2989 total participants receiving regular coaching from INTO staff
- 71 new student officials assisting with INTO delivery
- 45 newly trained student coaches assisting with INTO delivery.
There are currently 64 women's teams and 58 men's teams competing in 22 leagues across the BUCS programme. The season now runs through to Easter.
BUCS are now reviewing their organisation and developing a three year strategy for lacrosse. The areas that they focus on are
- Officials. With the rapid expansion of lacrosse there is a critical shortage of referees and umpires. (Any Centurions who could help out on Wednesday afternoons could really help here.)
- Recruiting players for men's lacrosse.
- Club - university links.
- More competitive games for the leading women's sides
- Integration with Higher Education.
- Increasing the profile of lacrosse
- Elite links to the National sides.
The full report can be viewed on the BUCS website.
Southern stalwart Ray Nash moved to Cardiff a couple of years ago and is now encouraging the universities in his area to take up the sport. He's now equipped with a set of Centurion funded sticks so we should see some Welsh expansion over the coming year and in due course a side in the Nationals?
A couple of years ago we made a small grant for three U 19s to attend a Summer camp in the States. This year all three were named in the England squad for the European Championship.
We are looking for nominations for The Centurion Award and The Stan Smith Award for 2012. The Centurion Award is made at our House of Lords Dinner. Nominations are sought for those who have made a significant long term contribution to lacrosse. The Stan Smith Award was donated in Stan's memory by his friends to be awarded to a young southerner who has made a contribution to development of the game. Let me know if you have anyone in mind for either award.
HOUSE OF LORDS DINNER
This year's dinner is later than usual. We have sought to avoid the busy period over the Olympics, European Lacrosse Championship in Amsterdam, and the U 19 World Series. Given this and the availability of their Lordships to entertain us the dinner will be held on Friday 21st September. Full details will be sent out in due course.
Only a handful haven't paid. If you're one please do to Neil Forsyth.